Category Archives for "Network World Security"

12 killer (and free) tools for network engineers

The job of a network engineer just keeps getting more complicated. Mission critical applications are competing for bandwidth. The sheer number of devices is exploding, driven by IoT. And the network itself if being extended to the cloud, the edge and to the home office.  And then there’s cybersecurity to worry about. Attacks are on the rise across the board, and attackers are constantly looking for vulnerabilities or backdoors, upping the need for solid and secure networking to act as an early warning system for cybersecurity defenses.Thankfully, there are many great tools available to help network engineers complete their never-ending tasks. And many of them are available for free. Here’s our list of 12 killer network tools that won’t break the bank. To read this article in full, please click here

5 DNS services to provide a layer of internet security

Having thorough IT security usually means having a layered approach. Basic antivirus, for instance, might catch PC-based malware once a user downloads it, but you could try to block it before it ever reaches the user device, or at least have another security mechanism in place that might catch it if the basic antivirus doesn’t. DNS-based filtering can do this! It can help stop users from browsing to malware and phishing sites, block intrusive advertising to them, and serve as adult content filters.First, a quick primer for those who are unfamiliar with DNS: You utilize the Domain Name System (DNS) every time you surf the Web. Each time you type a site name into the browser, DNS is queried for the IP address corresponding to that particular domain, so the browser can contact the Web server to get the content. The process of converting the domain name to its IP address is called domain-name resolution.To read this article in full, please click here

Mastering Active Directory groups can streamline management, pave way for automation

On the surface, Active Directory groups are a simple and straightforward way to manage identities (users and/or computers) and assign permissions. Users or computers are added as group members, and the group is referenced in access control lists (ACL) on file shares, mailboxes, applications, or other corporate resources. But experienced admins know that this simplicity quickly goes out the window as environments scale. As group memberships grow, management of memberships becomes increasingly complex.Over the years, Microsoft and others have developed best practices for managing groups and permissions in an Active Directory environment. These strategies are something of a lost art, but there’s value to be gained by leveraging these layers of sophistication.To read this article in full, please click here

Dell expands data-protection product line

Dell Technologies has announced new products and services for data protection as part of its security portfolio.Active data protection is often treated as something of an afterthought, especially compared to disaster recovery. Yet it's certainly a problem for companies. According to Dell’s recent Global Data Protection Index (GDPI) research, organizations are experiencing higher levels of disasters than in previous years, many of them man-made. In the past year, cyberattacks accounted for 48% of all disasters, up from 37% in 2021, and are the leading cause of data disruption.One of the major stumbling blocks in deploying data-protection capabilities is the complexity of the rollout. Specialized expertise is often required, and products from multiple vendors are often involved. Even the hyperscalers are challenged to provide multicloud data-protection services.To read this article in full, please click here

Palo Alto targets zero-day threats with new firewall software

Palo Alto Networks has released next-generation firewall (NGFW) software that includes some 50 new features aimed at helping enterprise organizations battle zero-day threats and advanced malware attacks.The new features are built into the latest version of Palo Alto's firewall operating system – PAN 11.0 Nova – and include upgraded malware sandboxing for the company’s WildFire malware-analysis service, advanced threat prevention (ATP), and a new cloud access security broker (CASB).WildFire is Palo Alto’s on-prem or cloud-based malware sandbox that is closely integrated with Palo Alto’s firewalls. When a firewall detects anomalies, it sends data to WildFire for analysis. WildFire uses machine learning, static analysis, and other analytics to discover threats, malware and zero-day threats, according to the vendor.To read this article in full, please click here

Should security systems be the network?

Recently during a research interview with a small but fast-growing business, for the first time I encountered an organization with a “no-network-vendor” network. That is, instead of using Cisco or Dell or even a white-box solution for switching and routing, the company deployed only Fortinet equipment for its entire network. That is, every network component is part of the security infrastructure for them.They built the network this way not just to bake security into its core (a great idea in itself) but also for: ease of management: they have one tool, it manages every component ease of deployment: they have only two or three versions of each appliance, all the same except for capacity and port count ease of expansion to new locations: every site is the same as any other site of similar size They have a small stock of replacement appliances on the shelf, with which they provide rapid recovery for all locations. They could easily also consume security-operations center as-a-service, and use professional services for nearly all the rest of their network operations. In essence, their security solution could become their complete network solution as well.To read this article in full, please click here

VMware adds more security for diverse cloud workloads

VMware has added more security features to its forthcoming on-demand multi-cloud networking and security service called Northstar that it previewed during its August VMware Explore 2022 conference.VMware said then that Northstar will provide a central console for turning up networking and security services across private clouds and VMware Cloud deployments that run on public clouds. It will include VMware services such as Network Detection and Response, NSX Intelligence, advanced load balancing and Web Application Firewall. Within Northstar, Network Detection and Response support will provide scalable threat detection and response for workloads deployed in private and/or public clouds.To read this article in full, please click here

Cisco adds a firewall, upgrades security

Security is the name of the game at Cisco’s Partner Summit gathering this week with the rollout of a new firewall and added data-loss prevention (DLP) and passwordless authentication features to its security wares. On the firewall front, Cisco announced the Secure Firewall 3105 it says is built specifically for hybrid workers and small branch offices. Available early next year, the 1U 3105 supports 10Gbps throughput, 7Gbps IPSec throughput and 3,000 VPN peers. The box is the new low-end for the Secure Firewall 3100 family, including the 3110, 3120, 3130 and the high-end 3140, which supports 45Gbps throughput.To read this article in full, please click here

OCP spec for silicon security could help reduce vendor lock-in

A new specification from the Open Compute Project could mean more choices for IT pros when it comes time to replace server cards.The spec defines a block of code that, when used in processors, establishes root of trust (RoT) boot security. Because the spec is open, any chip maker can use it, and it will provide interoperability with chips made by other chip makers that also use it. This can help eliminate being locked into a single vendor because of proprietary RoT code.By standardizing on OCP hardware, for example, it’s possible to replace a bad smartNIC from one vendor with one from another vendor, says Bill Chen, general manager of server product management at Supermicro, an OCP member.To read this article in full, please click here

Cisco issues fixes for active exploits of its Windows VPN clients

Cisco is offering software updates for two of its AnyConnect for Windows products it says are actively being exploited in the field.AnyConnect for Windows is security software package, in this case for Windows machines, that sets up VPN connectivity, provides access control and supports other endpoint security features. Cisco said AnyConnect products for MacOS, Linux are not affected.Cisco said its Cisco Product Security Incident Response Team (PSIRT) is aware that proof-of-concept exploit code is available for the vulnerability, which is described in this advisory.To read this article in full, please click here

IoT security strategy from those who use connected devices

Freeman Health System has around 8,000 connected medical devices in its 30 facilities in Missouri, Oklahoma, and Kansas. Many of these devices have the potential to turn deadly at any moment. "That’s the doomsday scenario that everyone is afraid of," says Skip Rollins, the hospital chain's CIO and CISO.Rollins would love to be able to scan the devices for vulnerabilities and install security software on them to ensure that they aren't being hacked. But he can't."The vendors in this space are very uncooperative," he says. "They all have proprietary operating systems and proprietary tools. We can't scan these devices. We can't put security software on these devices. We can't see anything they're doing. And the vendors intentionally deliver them that way."To read this article in full, please click here

SolarWinds’ Observability offers visibility into hybrid cloud infrastructure

SolarWinds, the maker of a well-known and widely used suite of IT management software products, announced this week that it’s expanding to the cloud, with the release of Observability, a cloud-native, SaaS-based IT management service that is also available for hybrid cloud environments.The basic idea of Observability is to provide a more holistic, integrated overview of an end-user company’s IT systems, using a single-pane-of-glass interface to track data from network, infrastructure, application and database sources. The system's  machine learning techniques are designed to bolster security via anomaly detection.To read this article in full, please click here

Cisco launches 10-year plan to train 25 million people in IT skills

As Cisco celebrates the 25th anniversary of Cisco Networking Academy, the company on Tuesday announced two new certifications and a plan to provide networking, cybersecurity and general IT  training to 25 million people over the next 10 years.The training will be done through the company's networking academy, an IT skills-to-jobs program that provides IT courses, learning simulators, and hands-on learning opportunities, supporting instructors and learners in 190 countries. To date, Cisco says more than 17.5 million global learners have taken Cisco Networking Academy courses to gain IT skills, with 95% of students attributing their post-course job or education opportunity to Cisco Networking Academy.To read this article in full, please click here

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